John Obi Mikel believes Manchester United may have been fearful when they had the opportunity to trouble Chelsea in Monday's 0-0 draw.
United have been criticised for only scoring 10 goals in their last 14 games and Mikel said they were playing with too much caution.
"I think sometimes you could see in the game that they had chances to attack, but were a little bit sceptical, or hesitant," he said.
"Maybe they were a little bit scared. They were playing not to lose as well. Because of the fast players we have up front who can break they were cautious, and approached the game not to lose.
"Both teams are not in the right place right now to attack, attack, attack, attack. Sometimes you have to be smart and settle for a point."
Chelsea lost nine of their first 16 league games, leaving Mikel struggling to explain why they had floundered this season.
"I've been as confused as everyone else," he said. "It's difficult when you're not playing, as you don't really know what the problems are.
"I wasn't playing that much under Mourinho so couldn't put my finger on what was going wrong. It was a collective thing -- the players and the manager were not performing.
"He came back to the club a second time and won two trophies, but now he's gone and we have to move on. Is it the right decision? Who knows? We'll only see in the future."
Mikel said the Chelsea team discussed Wayne Rooney's late challenge on Oscar after the game.
Referee Martin Atkinson showed the United and England captain a yellow card for his injury-time tackle and Rooney, who insisted it was accidental, apologised to the Brazilian.
"I don't know, I didn't see it, but from what I've heard it was a bit high, but I personally didn't see it," Mikel said. "But the referee saw what he saw and then he acted on it. Did he get a yellow card? I don't know. But Oscar is fine."